Shocked, stunned and no words can describe this right now.
This information is real and confirmed. Ilya Kovalchuk has retired from the New Jersey Devils and the NHL to go back home to Russia.
Of course, this leaves a HUGE void to fill.
HIS CONTRACT IS VOIDED ONCE HE OFFICIALLY RETIRES.
We’ll be updating you with any new information and also more analysis in the minutes and hours to come.
UPDATE: 11:57 am
Here’s a tweet from Tom Gulitti about the cap situation with Kovalchuk gone:
UPDATE: 12:02 pm
This hurts even more now, because it was done after the draft and the beginning of the UFA period. Could the team have signed someone else, or even tried to trade for Bobby Ryan? Lou will be left with a huge void to fill and will need to make a move to put this team in contention again.
You have to expect that Lou may have known about this, considering some of the quotes out there. Though this may be a dark hour for the Devils, if there is anyone who can pull it out, it’s Lou.